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Beyond Heroic

What defines one as a hero? Is it the actions an individual makes…takes…succeeds or fails in? Is it doing something extraordinary for someone else? Selflessness, courage, morality; doing what the good guy would do in any situation including life or death. I do want to pose the question, what defines a hero.

Hero:
Pronunciation: /ˈhɪərəʊ/
noun (plural heroes)

  • a person, typically a man, who is admired for their courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities: a war hero
  • the chief male character in a book, play, or film, who is typically identified with good qualities, and with whom the reader is expected to sympathize:

From this Oxford dictionary definition, the qualities of a hero are attainable. If we are courageous, go out to do outstanding achievements and have noble qualities which can be classified as having high morality in character, courage, generosity, honor etc, then we too can become heroes. So there you have it! Go be a hero!

Oh wait…how can we display these characteristics in everyday life? Well…

There you are in the kitchen, quietly rummaging the fridge, when out of your peripheral view, you see one of your siblings buttering a piece of toast. You hunger senses kick in as the unmistakable smell of toast reaches your nostrils. Suddenly, a phone rings, your keen hunger senses slow everything down around you. You notice your startled sibling in mid recoil; eyes wide, mouth agape, hands thrown forward. Empty. The buttered knife is slowly spinning in mid-air to drop onto the counter top. You mind screams: The Toast! You turn away from the fridge, swaying your hips to the side in nonchalant elegance, shutting the fridge door. You ceremoniously dive forward, hands outstretched, your mouth forming the words your mind had echoed across to your reflexes: The Toast! You land sideways, sliding across the kitchen floor careening towards the side drawers, barely an inch from your recovering sibling, to crash into the wooden furnishings.

Suddenly the world runs at normal speed and you are aware of your sibling shouting something about what in the world were you thinking but you are also aware of the buttered crunchiness that is caught between your teeth. Indeed that is warm toast in your mouth and one word overrides every other thought that comes up. Success.

Heroic? Neh. However if there was a change in the situation…

There you are within the dark confines of an abandoned storeroom, quickly yet deliberately rummaging through a suspected weapons repository. From the corner of your eye, you see a glare that catches your attention. You see your comrade sifting through contents on a workbench, when suddenly a loud bang erupts around you. Your comrade, in his recoil, nudges the object that had caught your attention close to the edge. In that second, just as the object begins to tilt over the edge, you realize what it is. Your reflexes kick in before you can even think and with a dive, reach out to catch the object. You careen across the floor, knocking your comrade down in the process before crashing against the wall, which, inadvertently, causes your hand to clench. As your comrade begins to shout various obscenities at you, you gaze down at your hand, having already felt the object click. Your comrade’s eyes follow yours and the room becomes dead silent; in your hand, is now an activated bomb.

What do you do?

Beyond Heroic

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About Nthato Morakabi

Nthato Morakabi is a South African published author. He has short stories appearing in both international and local anthologies, and has published his first book, Beneath the Wax, which opens his three-part novella series "Wax". He is an avid reader, blogger and writer.

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